Maple Toasted Muesli – Rolled Oats and Flavorful Nuts Toasted with a Touch of Maple Syrup, Tossed with Dried Fruit. Healthy Breakfast or Snack.
I became hooked on muesli several years ago, when my husband and I spent a few months in England working on a project he was involved with. We rented an apartment in the West End, and just down the street there was a little mini-market with gourmet items – large wheels of cheese, charcuterie, jams, honey and milk from local farms. There was a small section for pantry goods, where they stocked various varieties of muesli. It became my favorite breakfast– a bowl of oats, nuts and dried fruit with a splash of cold milk. So satisfying and healthy!
Muesli was popularized by a Swiss doctor named Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who developed the cereal as a healthy fiber-rich diet for his patients. He first encountered a version of the dish while hiking the Swiss alps with his wife. It was served with orange juice rather than milk. In the 1920’s vegetarian diets were gaining a bit of popularity, and muesli became known as a “fringe” health food. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that muesli gained wider popularity. Today it is one of the most popular breakfast cereals in Europe.
Here in the States a few varieties of muesli are available in health food stores, but none are organic that I’ve seen, and only one is certified gluten free (but it contains soy, which I try to avoid). Knowing the basic ingredients, I wanted to create my own variety of muesli from scratch that includes all of my favorite healthy ingredients… organic rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, dates, etc. Raw muesli is lovely, but I thought it might be nice to toast the oats and nuts with a touch of maple syrup. The result is a lightly sweetened, slightly crunchy muesli, a perfect autumn breakfast or snack. Try it with cold milk, or heat it up together with milk to create a hot oat cereal. You can also omit the maple syrup and vanilla and skip the toasting step for a more traditional raw muesli. Add a handful to yogurt, or simply carry it as a dry snack. Each time I make it, my family snacks on it constantly… it’s addictive!
I think this would also make a terrific homemade holiday gift. It makes about the right amount for a quart-sized mason jar. Just place a batch inside a jar, tie a bow on it and give it a pretty label– presto! A gift from the heart that is nourishing and delicious. Enjoy!
- 2 1/4 cups rolled oats (for gluten free use certified GF oats)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (without shells)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (without shells)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 tsp (heaping) cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup craisins (dried sweetened cranberries)
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Toss the dry ingredients together with a spoon until well mixed. Drizzle in the maple syrup and vanilla. Using clean hands, mix the dry ingredients with the wet until they are evenly coated with the maple syrup. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet in a thin, even layer.
- Toast the mixture for 12-15 minutes, stirring once every 4 minutes, until the oats are dry and fragrant and the nuts and coconut flakes begin turning golden. The mixture on the outer edges of the pan will toast faster than the mixture in the middle of the pan, so be sure to stir from the outer edges inward so that everything cooks evenly. While muesli is toasting, clean out your mixing bowl and dry it, you'll need it again soon.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the mixture cool on the hot pan slowly to room temperature. Pour into the large mixing bowl and stir in the dried fruits. Scoop the muesli into a quart-sized mason jar or a plastic zipper bag and seal. Eat within 1 month and keep sealed in an airtight container when not in use for best flavor.